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DESC9103: Virtual Architecture Ning Gu ([email protected]) Key Centre of Design Computing and Cognition University of Sydney DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004 Presentation Overview

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Desc9103 virtual architecture l.jpg

DESC9103: Virtual Architecture

Ning Gu ([email protected])

Key Centre of Design Computing and Cognition

University of Sydney

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Presentation Overview

  • Part one: concept of virtual architecture, virtual worlds or Cyberspace.

    • Metaphorical design.

    • Purposes of virtual architecture.

    • Historical and future development.

  • Part two: designing 3D virtual architecture.

    • 3D models + behaviours.

  • Part three: design styles of virtual architecture.

    • Three aspects: visualisation, navigation and interaction.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Concept of Virtual Architecture

  • Definition: multi-user Internet places designed using the metaphor of architecture.

  • Purposes of virtual architecture:

    • Simulation of the physical world.

    • Functional virtual places.

  • The definition of virtual architecture indicates the use of metaphor:

    • Through the use of metaphor, we express concepts in one domain in terms of another.

    • Architectural metaphor: analogy to architectural design in the physical world.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Concept of Virtual Architecture

  • By introducing virtual architecture, the meaning of “our world” is expanded to include:

    • Physical world that we are relatively familiar with.

    • And, virtual world comprised of abstract bits.

      Designing WWW Designing Places

Architectural

Metaphor

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Development of Virtual Architecture

  • Metaphors for designing computer or WWW:

    • Giant brain.

    • Information superhighway.

    • Desktop.

    • Architecture, …

  • Why architecture: to introduce and apply place for organising and categorising:

    • Digital information.

    • Our experiences in WWW.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Development of Virtual Architecture

  • Origins of virtual architecture feature “guns”.

    • Military simulation.

    • Internet games.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Development of Virtual Architecture

  • Current use of virtual architecture:

    • Social community: virtual museum and chat room.

    • Academics: online learning and research.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Development of Virtual Architecture

  • Current use of virtual architecture:

    • Communication and collaboration: online conferencing and design collaborative.

    • Architecture: space and multimedia study.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Historical Review of Virtual Architecture

  • Early stage of virtual architecture:

    • Text-based virtual architecture: MUDs and MOOs.

    • Words are everything.

  • MUD: Multi-user Domain.

    • A place for role-playing games, for example, Dungeons and Dragons.

  • MOO: MUD Object Oriented.

    • Objects: participants’ bodies and objects around them.

    • Verbs for activating behaviours.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Historical Review of Virtual Architecture

  • Adopted the architectural metaphor, the WWW has accommodated many different technologies supporting:

    • Multi-user text-based virtual architecture.

    • Two-dimensional graphical virtual architecture.

    • 3D virtual architecture.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Historical Review of Virtual Architecture

  • Nowadays, 3D virtual architecture have become the most frequently seen forms.

  • The development of 3D virtual architecture is closely related to the development of various design platforms, for example:

    • Game and chat oriented: Quake engine and Blaxxun.

    • Extened from MOO: LambdaMOO + 3D VRML models.

    • Currently used: Active Worlds, Virtual Worlds, Adobe Atmosphere and bahaviour-based Virtools.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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3D Virtual Architecture

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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3D Virtual Architecture

  • Quake engine is mainly applied to develop Internet gaming environments.

    • Allows players to move around and “shoot”.

    • 3D rendering is always a focus in Quake engine.

  • Blaxxun is mostly applied to develop social environment that provide visual simulation, and simple tools for communication like online chat.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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3D Virtual Architecture

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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3D Virtual Architecture

  • LambdaMOO provides programming language to integrate various tools into virtual architecture for supporting professional activities online, especially academic-related.

    • Slide projector, whiteboard, recorder and so on.

  • VRML models provides 3D visualisations.

    • Like a visual shell for the LambdaMOO objects.

  • Trace from the text-based virtual architecture:

    • Interactions are not intuitive, they need to be activated by using textual commands.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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3D Virtual Architecture

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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3D Virtual Architecture

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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3D Virtual Architecture

  • 3D models + behaviours.

    • 3D models: visualisation as references for navigation and interaction.

    • Behaviours that are associated with the models for supporting certain purposes.

    • Simple behaviours: opening a web page, displaying a texture, performing an animation and so on…

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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3D Virtual Architecture

  • Further development:

    • Behaviours can be further expanded by using various programming language, for example, C++ for Active Worlds.

    • SDK (software development kits) allows higher level reasoning mechanisms to be integrated, for example, rational agents.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Summary of Part One

  • 3D virtual architecture is the most frequently seen forms nowadays.

  • Most Object-oriented 3D Virtual architecture = 3D Models + Behaviours.

    • 3D virtual architecture: multi-user Internet places.

    • Architectural design reflects on the resultant 3D models designed using the architectural metaphor.

    • Computational elements of 3D virtual architecture allows interactive behaviours to be programmed and integrated in the environments.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Summary of Part One

  • Current use of 3D virtual architecture:

    • Simulation of physical architecture or surreal vision.

    • An escape from gravity, solidity and other physical constraints.

    • An online environment with a sense of place and a sense of presence for people to communicate with others and to work on simple tasks.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Summary of Part One

  • Limitations of virtual architecture?

    • The origin of virtual worlds as Internet games and military simulation requires high “virtual reality”.

    • Superficial understanding of the architectural metaphor.

    • Original needs of virtual architecture as a simulation of physical world: multimedia presentation and CAAD.

  • Potential of virtual architecture:

    • Better support for professional online activities.

    • Full potential of being virtual: dynamic structure, individualises places, virtual cyborg and so on.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Design Representation of 3D Virtual Architecture

  • F-B-S (Gero 1990) framework for design representation in a virtual context.

    • Function: intended purposes.

    • Behaviours: programmed computing elements.

    • Structure: an aggregation of 3D models.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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An Example of 3D Virtual Architecture

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Active Worlds as a Design Platform

  • An example of 3D object-oriented virtual architecture: Active Worlds.

    • A multi-user 3D virtual environment that works on the internet as a client-server application.

  • Active Worlds as a design platform for 3D virtual architecture:

    • Design space for the structure of the environment: a library of 3D models categorised according to a set of architectural categories of objects.

    • Design space for the behaviour of the environment: a set of triggers and actions.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Design Spaces in Active Worlds

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Design Spaces in Active Worlds

  • Alternatives for structure and behaviour can be combined in any way the designer wants.

  • A two dimensional design space in 3D virtual architecture can be conceived as:

    • Along one dimension designers can select a 3D model for an object.

    • Along the other dimension designers can select one or more behaviours.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Summary of Part Two

  • Designing 3D virtual architecture can be conceived as designing and combining:

    • Architectural elements, and

    • Computing elements.

  • Designer ascribes behaviours to 3D objects in a virtual environment.

    • This is in contrast to designs in the physical world where behaviours of the physical objects are causally related to their materials and forms.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Styles of 3D Virtual Architecture

  • Styles of 3D virtual architecture can be analysed in terms of:

    • Visualisation: application of metaphor, layout, form and other visual aspects.

    • Navigation: selecting and arranging way finding aims and hyper links.

    • Interaction: ascribing behaviours, designing how behaviours are activated and combined.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Design Styles of Visualisation

  • Architectural metaphor v.s. abstract metaphor:

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Design Styles of Visualisation

  • Different styles of the architectural metaphor:

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Design Styles of Visualisation

  • Different uses of forms:

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Design Styles of Visualisation

  • Different layouts: vertical expansion v.s. horizontal expansion:

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Navigation in 3D Virtual Architecture

  • Way finding aims (based on cognitive studies in physical environments):

    • Spatial elements: paths, openings, hallways, stairs, intersections, landmarks, maps, signs and etc.

    • Social element: help from tour guide (conversational softbot) or other occupants.

  • Hyper links (unique in virtual environments):

    • Teleport portal: a hyper link that takes avatars from one location to another location without transition.

    • Warp portal: a hyper link that takes avatars from one location to another location with transition.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Styles of Navigation

  • Different uses of way finding aims:

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Styles of Navigation

  • Different used of hyper links:

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Activating Behaviours in 3D Virtual Architecture

  • Mouse-click: intentional, occupants are expecting some consequences.

    • Designers allow occupants to have certain degrees of control over the interactions with the environment.

  • Bump (especially with hidden objects): accidental, occupants encounters the interactions unexpectedly.

    • Designers express design intentions more assertively.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Interaction in 3D Virtual Architecture

  • Carefully ascribe behaviours to different 3D models of virtual architecture.

  • Decide how the behaviours are activated and connected with each other.

  • Therefore, one interaction between the occupants and the environment can activate other subsequent interactions.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Styles of Interaction

  • A studio responds differently to the existence of its occupants.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Design Styles of Virtual Architecture

  • By understanding the styles of 3D virtual architecture:

    • Develop design principles for 3D virtual architecture.

    • Formalise designs of 3D virtual architecture: to develop design formalisms for reproducing a design style, varying or extending a design style, and even, automating the design process.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Summary: Designing Virtual Architecture

  • Metaphor of physical architecture:

    • Analogy from physical architecture.

  • Constraints in design:

    • Physical architecture: geographical context.

    • Virtual architecture: free from physical constraints, but extremely abstract forms tend to be disorienting and distracting.

  • Organisation of virtual architecture:

    • Cognitive map: references to physical architecture.

    • Behaviours that only exist in virtual architecture.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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Summary: Designing Virtual Architecture

  • Metaphor beyond being there:

    • Virtual architecture is not constrained by the physical.

    • Behaviours can be ascribes to objects in the world that are relevant to being in a virtual world.

  • Organisation a new set of design principles:

    • Requirements that are associated with the experiences of virtual presence.

    • The way a person interacts with virtual architecture through the input devices of a keyboard and mouse.

DESC9103 Virtual Architecture University of Sydney, July 2004


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